52% of Tipp drivers pass test, but women less likely
6% more men than women pass the driving test, statistics show
The latest published figures from 2019 show that 25% more men than women took and passed their driving test (55,876 vs 44,614 respectively).
Experts at the newly launched online insurance broker Missquote.ie say that while statistics indicate that women drivers have a lower incidence rate than men when it comes to major accidents or fatalities on Irish roads, driving test statistics from the CSO do not seem to tally with this higher safety record, given that so many more men than women pass their driving test every year. The online brokers say they are flagging these anomalies because they believe that unconscious bias and stereotyping might be holding female drivers back.
Deirdre McCarthy of MissQuote.ie, an online motor insurance broker whose policy holders are primarily young female drivers commented,
“The most recent driving test statistics show that in 2019, 98,493 men took the test and 55,876 passed - with an overall pass rate of 57%. In contrast, 87,886 women took the test, with 44,614 passing resulting in the lower pass rate of 51%. While this might not appear too big a gap if it appeared in isolation, perhaps for just one year, when we analysed the statistics from 2013 to 2018, we found a similar trend. At the regional level, and in Co. Tipperary alone, the most recent CSO statistics indicate that 16% more men than women hold a full license in the county – 55,755 compared with 47,839, with an overall pass driving test pass rate of 51.5%**.
So, when it comes to drivers on the road there are significantly more male drivers. Less women drove years ago, that should have equalised over the years - but it hasn’t. Why is that?”
The Stereotype Effect
MissQuote.ie say there are a number of issues that warrant a closer look to ensure there is fairness across the board when it comes to testing and driving in general, and to make sure that unconscious bias and stereotypical mindsets do not hold motorists back.
Ms. McCarthy explained: “Aside from the difference in pass rates, we must question why women are far less likely to apply for the driving test. 12% more men than women applied for the test in 2019 (98,493 vs 87,886). What is stopping these female motorists?
What we are seeing is that overall driving test results seem to be at odds with the subsequent driving records of men and women and we want to examine any factors that could be contributing to that.”
MissQuote.ie have outlined several other considerations which they believe could be impacting on the lower pass rate for women.
Ms. McCarthy went on to comment,
“A couple of years ago, the issue of gender representation at test centres received some attention and the RSA said at the time that they were looking to address the disparity between the number of male and female driving testers. At the time, just 23 out of 138 testers were women – only 17%. We obtained an update on these figures* to find they remain largely unchanged, currently standing at 114 male and 24 female testers. This is perhaps an area that should be looked at again,” she said this week.
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